St. Cloud, Florida

Infobox Settlement
official_name = St. Cloud, Florida
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settlement_type = City
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mapsize = 250x200px
map_caption = Location in Osceola County and the state of Florida


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subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = flag|United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = flag|Florida
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = noflag|Osceola
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established_title2 = Incorporated
established_date2 = 1915
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unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes =
area_total_km2 = 23.7
area_land_km2 = 23.7
area_water_km2 = 0
area_total_sq_mi = 9.2
area_land_sq_mi = 9.2
area_water_sq_mi = 0
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population_as_of = 2000
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population_total = 20074
population_density_km2 = 847
population_density_sq_mi = 2182
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timezone = Eastern (EST)
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
latd = 28 |latm = 14 |lats = 48 |latNS = N
longd = 81 |longm = 17 |longs = 15 |longEW = W
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 23
elevation_ft = 75
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blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 12-62625GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 0290167GR|3
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St. Cloud is a city in Osceola County, Florida, United States. The population was 20,074 at the 2000 census. As of 2006, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 24,249 [http://www.census.gov/popest/cities/tables/SUB-EST2004-04-12.xls] . St. Cloud is closely associated with the adjacent city of Kissimmee and its proximity to Orlando area theme parks, including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Seaworld.

History

During the 1870s, Hamilton Disston of Philadelphia took an interest in developing the region while on fishing trips with Henry Shelton Sanford, founder of Sanford. Disston contracted with Florida's Internal Improvement Fund, then in receivership, to pay $1 million to offset its Civil War and Reconstruction debt. In exchange, Disston would be awarded half the land he drained from the state's swamp. He dug canals and, in 1886-1887, established St. Cloud sugarcane plantation, named after St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Diston opened the Sugar Belt Railway to the South Florida Railroad in 1888 to carry his product to market. But the Panic of 1893 dropped land values, and the Great Freeze of 1894-1895 ruined the plantation. Disston returned to Philadelphia, where he died in 1896. The Sugar Belt Railway merged into the South Florida Railroad. An attempt to cultivate rice in the area failed, and for several years the land remained fallow. Then in 1909, 35,000 acres (14,000 hectares) were acquired by the Seminole Land & Investment Company as site for a Grand Army of the Republic veterans' colony. St. Cloud was selected because of its "health, climate and productiveness of soil." It was first permanently settled in 1909 by William G. King, a real estate manager from Alachua County who had been given the responsibility "to plan, locate and develop a town." On June 1, 1915, the Florida Legislature incorporated St. Cloud as a city. Its downtown features landmark buildings by the Orlando architectural firm of Ryan & Roberts.

In recent years, St. Cloud has tried to separate itself from neighboring cities, and particularly the theme parks, by promoting an image of small town life, as well as attempting to make itself economically less dependent on Kissimmee. On March 6, 2006, St. Cloud introduced CyberSpot, a program which gives residents free high-speed wireless Internet access. The city is serviced by the Osceola library system.

Geography

St. Cloud is located at coor dms|28|14|48|N|81|17|15|W|city (28.246590, -81.287540)GR|1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 23.8 km² (9.2 mi²). 23.7 km² (9.2 mi²) of it is land and 0.11% is water. St. Cloud is located on the southern shore of East Lake Tohopekaliga (locally called East Lake Toho or simply East Lake).

The major highway is east and west. This six-lane road is intersected by streets running north and south. Many of these near the center of town have the names of all the states in no particular order. [ [http://www.mapquest.com/maps/Saint+Cloud+FL/ Mapquest] accessed March 12, 2008]

Demographics

As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 20,074 people, 7,716 households, and 5,424 families residing in the city. The population density was 846.1/km² (2,190.8/mi²). There were 8,602 housing units at an average density of 362.6/km² (938.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.27% White, 2.07% African American, 0.47% Native American, 0.95% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 4.10% from other races, and 2.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.36% of the population.

There were 7,716 households out of which 34.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.7% were non-families. 23.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.5% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 19.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 90.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,467, and the median income for a family was $41,211. Males had a median income of $30,955 versus $22,414 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,031. About 6.2% of families and 8.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.7% of those under age 18 and 8.3% of those age 65 or over.

Education

Elementary Schools
* Hickory Tree Elementary School
* Lakeview Elementary School
* Neptune Elementary School
* Michigan Avenue Elementary School
* St. Cloud Elementary School

Middle Schools
* Neptune Middle School (NMS)
* St. Cloud Middle School (SCMS)

High Schools
* Harmony High School (HHS) (Although not within the City Limits, children within the eastern part of city limits attend this school)
* St. Cloud High School (SCHS)

Multi-level Schools
* Narcoossee Community School (NCS)

Charter Schools
* Canoe Creek Charter School

Sites of interest

* [http://www.theotherorlando.com/contents/chapters/15/reptile.html Reptile World Serpentarium]
* [http://www.stcloudheritagemuseum.com/ St. Cloud Heritage Museum]

References

* [http://www.stcloudmainstreetflorida.org/history.html History of St. Cloud, Florida]
* [http://www.stcloudhotelandspa.com/history.html History of the St. Cloud Hotel]

External links

* [http://www.stcloud.org/ St. Cloud, Florida Official Website]
* [http://www.osceolalibrary.org/ Osceola County Library System]


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